Welcome to the LDV NNR ringing blog, this blog is designed to share the experiences, findings and tales from a group of dedicated ringers. We specialise in conservation orientated research projects, largely focusing on wildfowl, waders, owls and birds of conservation concern, in and around the Vale of York NNR's.

NB - Whilst the purpose of this blog was initially designed to cover our nationally important wildfowl ringing activities, regular readers may have noticed the increase in posts detailing wildlife found across the valley (ranging from plants, fungi, butterflies, dragonflies & other invertebrates). Ringing posts will hopefully resume over the winter months, and will run alongside wildlife and work posts.

Monday, 10 September 2012

31/08/12 - On a roll!

It feels like we're on abit of a roll at the moment and so on Wednesday morning (29th) Craig got up in the early hours again and opened the nets at 4am...a few early rounds produced 2 Teal, a Shoveler and 2 Snipe. A spring trap placed near the nets also caught another Common Sandpiper (4th in the last few days). Upto last week only 4 Common Sands had previously been caught in the valley since 1989, one in 2004 and three in one week in 2010. Usually on wader passage the odd one drops in and so unless you go for them specifically its unlikely any will be caught, but with 4 seen recently it was decided that it was too good an opportunity to miss!


The Snipe caught today now brings us to 30 for the month and 52 for the year. If you'd said two weeks ago we'd catch 29 Snipe in 10 days it would have been hard to believe! It really makes up for last year which was a poor year because it was so dry, with only 8 caught throughout the whole 12 months. With all the colour-ringed Snipe now out there we hope to hear about some sightings soon so that we can learn more about their movements.

Last week on Tuesday saw the first Teal return to the LDV for the autumn, and from now on numbers will gradually start to build as we head towards the end of the year. Last year the number of Teal present in the LDV peaked at around 8000 in February. Autumn and winter are the best time for catching Teal due to the large numbers present and the opportunity to catch them in whoosh nets. These are the first two Teal in the valley and the UK to be colour-ringed as part of our colour-ringing project with the WWT. Both birds were recently fledged ducklings, a male (first & second photos - more green on the wing) and female (third photo - fewer green feathers).

On closure of the nets we then found another 3 Snipe plus a Swallow! Last year we caught many Swallows and a few Sand Martins during the evening roosts, but due to the flooding this summer it's not allowed us to access the reed beds and has affected the numbers present.

After another day working on Skipwith we tried our luck again at hand catching ducks on the pool, it was abit harder today in the rain which came on really heavy as we entered the area, but we still managed to catch another Shoveler duckling and pulli Coot. The duck trap also held two young Moorhen, one with unusual white feathers across its wings!

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